Review: “Repent” by Traitors

373 days. That’s 12 months and 8 days. That’s how long it’s been since the highly influential Tampa Florida natives Traitors dropped their last album “Anger Issues”. Having laid the band to rest with a farewell tour and then announced their return just 5 months later, the smart money seemed to be on the band taking it easy. But no. If anything, the opposite has been true. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Chris Whited at 1776 Recordings, “Repent” is the Tyler Shelton and companies second album in a year. At 28 minutes it’s also 10 minutes longer than its predecessor.

A 9 track affair with artwork that depicts Police in riot gear, “Intro” sets the tone with some downtempo breakdown work following an eerie atmospheric buried spoken word about a resurgence of violent protests along the East Coast and a single crushing verse from Shelton that brings to mind “The Purge” films. “Suffocate” kicks in and ups the tempo with some bowel clenchingly heavy stuccato riffage that churns and swirls around some pummelling fills from Stephen Arango. The surprise of a slow burn guitar solo is a nice touch and as expected it’s a pounder of a cut. First single “Dwell” brings the introspective lyrics and a slow crushing groove for the opening verse that picks up into some more driven riffs. The backing vocal bark adds a pitch change more in tune with Hardcore that Traitors sound but it’s a refreshing element. Dwelling your days away in the depts of depression is never good. Crushing those thoughts with this is a far better idea.

“Left To Rot” continues that introspection lyrically with an “ah-ah” after the first bludgeoning verse that brings to mind David Draiman if Disturbed in a comedic way. Alan De La Torre demonstrates some skills with a slow pick slide that brings a downtempo breakdown bridge which gets slower and slower and slllllooooowwwweeeeeeer. “Ruthless Hate” pummelling kit work introduction is accompanied by an “oh-oh” from Shelton in similar fashion to the previous cut but this is a far more groove laiden cut. The guitars drop out of the mix to allow the bass grip to take hold before building back into a slower groove. Adding a mid album instrumental at just under 2 minutes, “Interlude” plays out a dark bassline that progresses into a riff with some loose drum work and then fades to black. Maybe an unfinished cut or maybe just something to palette cleanse for the second half.

Approaching Police sirens sound as “Waste Faith” kicks in full throttle. Asking the question as to why you have faith in me, it brings back the Hardcore esq backing vocal as Mikey Ingram delivers some slow, broken riffs that allow the drums and bass to breathe through the mix. After the punishingly heavy start that closing allows for “Weak World” to punch harder in its opening attack. Shelton almost does a pig squeal with this brutal pronunciation of “weak” and then repeats the feat with serval other words in the second verse that makes a stylistic point and proves it wasn’t by mistake. The cut also sees some atmospheric guitar builds that border on lead flourishes as the breakdowns hit harder than a building site wrecking ball. “Ignorance” starts slower and then builds quickly into neck breaking blast beats as Shelton roars about being crushed by the weight of the World and the listener is crushed by the weight of the music. A film style sample cuts in with a spoken word and some orchestral tones before the track punches back with a brutal breakdown and a pig squeal styled scat vocal to close on a final crushing note in similar fashion to “Lashing Out”.

“Repent” is a slower, darker and more punishing affair than Traitors return album “Anger Issues”. The decision to stick with Chris Whited pays dividends as his mix for the sound keeps everything fresh and clean with the kit work sounding really good in the mix. The album is perhaps less instantly accessible than its predecessor and the choice of guitar tone maybe more in with the current Deathcore scene than some of the Nu-Deathcore tones previously aired but that is by no means a bad thing. If you want a brutal 30 minute album then this is the one [7.5/10]

“Repent” by Traitors is out now and available via bandcamp

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